In the wake of Cain Velasquez being pulled from his heavyweight #1 contender fight with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 207 in 2016, there was much talk of who would get the next heavyweight title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
While many expected the UFC to give the opportunity to Werdum given that he is the former UFC heavyweight champion, and Velasquez was pulled from the fight on short notice, reports then began to surface that the UFC was targeting a fight between Stipe Miocic and former heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos for UFC 211.
That didn’t sit too well with Werdum, who spoke to MMAJunkie to explain his frustrations with the rumored Stipe Miocic next fight:
“I don’t really think (Miocic vs. Dos Santos) is fair,” Werdum told MMA Junkie. “Because I’m the last champ. Going by logic, there’s a (UFC) ranking, it’s there for a reason, and I’m the No. 1. Obviously it’s not a tournament, but I imagined the fight with Velasquez that didn’t happen as a semifinal. It was between Cain and I, and whoever won would fight for the belt. That was practically a given. That’s what everybody saw.”
“But then the fight was canceled, which was a shame, so I thought, ‘Well, Cain is injured, so I’m next,’” Werdum continued. “I heard that Miocic was having contract issues, that he’s asking for more money – and I’m not criticizing him, I think it’s only right. That also happened to me.”
“I think every fighter has the right to demand a little, what they deserve after becoming champ. But Miocic will only fight in June or July, and I’d wait. For the belt, I’d wait for sure.”
Werdum had been on a tear of the UFC’s heavyweight division since returning to the promotion in 2012, going on a 6-fight win streak that saw him claim the heavyweight championship by defeating Velasquez at UFC 188. That all changed in 2016 however when Werdum stepped into the Octagon with Stipe Miocic, who KOd ‘Vai Calvao’ in the very first round. With that being said, Werdum has since returned to the win column after defeating Travis Browne at UFC 203.